Jeff Freeman commited suicide

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Jeff Freeman commited suicide

Post by Tyfo » Wed Oct 01, 2008 1:55 pm

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Re: Jeff Freeman commited suicide

Post by Sobuno » Wed Oct 01, 2008 4:11 pm


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Re: Jeff Freeman commited suicide

Post by Choctaw Tyvarr » Wed Oct 01, 2008 4:32 pm

:( wow thats a bummer :(
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Re: Jeff Freeman commited suicide

Post by Zimoon » Wed Oct 01, 2008 4:45 pm

Ya, I believe these decisions were taken way over his poor head. :(


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Re: Jeff Freeman commited suicide

Post by Memnoc » Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:19 pm

I was reading about Jeff's suicide yesterday. Its a bummer no doubt and he carried the brunt of the NGE #@!@!@.

R.I.P Jeff

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Re: Jeff Freeman commited suicide

Post by Monty Burns » Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:52 pm

Found this write up yesterday on Raph Kosters site.

Jeff “Dundee” Freeman
September 30th, 2008

Years ago, when I was a young punk kid on UO, there was this really sharp, really witty, really annoying guy named Dundee on the r.g.c.u.o newsgroups. He challenged everything I said, and I got into epic discussions with him. He was an avid opponent of the PvP and PK structure that UO used, and had no patience for all of my endless reasons why it was important to allow player freedom and agency, saying that I was allowing jerks to run roughshod over everyone (and in the end, I came to agree with him).

His reasoning got more and more sophisticated as we argued. It was clear he was very knowledgeable about games. So eventually, I dared him. I don’t recall what it was in regard to, but I suggested that he go grab a mud codebase and just try his ideas.

He didn’t. Instead, he set up a UO gray shard, and fixed what he saw as broken in PK. It didn’t, of course, make everything a cakewalk. So he emailed me and asked for advice on how to handle annoying players — after all, I knew how to handle him. So I sent him everything I could think of: articles, links, sample terms of service and codes of conduct, best practice policies. He wrote me back to say it had made a huge difference.

Eventually, he emailed me to say that his world was boring. That the lack of PK was sucking the life out of it. But he still didn’t think that what we had going in UO proper was working. I said “but you said player policing could never work!” And he said that maybe he was wrong, so he was going to try to solve it.

So he did. He made a second gray shard with player policing, and an intricate system of town dependencies. Different towns had different necessary goods. You had to be a citizen of a town. PKing resulted in ostracism from towns, turning you into a true live-off-the-land bandit, with a short lifespan. Among other things, he set up stuff like expanding spawn zones, so that if players didn’t cooperate to beat back the monsters from a dungeon, eventually they would invade the towns. I still remember the email I got when said “Hey, this player policing thing is actually working.”

By this time, he was a commenter on Lum the Mad’s site, he was someone whose posts I saw daily. We stayed in touch by email. And one day, he emailed me to ask what I was working on — it a secret, but it was SWG. And I said “tell you what, how about you send me your resume and then I can tell you.” He was shocked at first, as he told me later, but we laughed about it.

He came out for an interview, and honestly, I had trouble persuading people to hire him. He was really quiet in person. His cynical mordant wit didn’t come out, and in fact he seemed kind of shy. We had a rambunctious team, and there were concerns that his personality would make him ineffective. He didn’t get the job at first. But another spot opened up, and I insisted. So he joined, in the wrong job for his talents. It didn’t matter, because he quickly became indispensable and moved to the right role.

Those of you who cried when your SWG pets were taken away from you: that was Jeff touching your heart. I told him to make a pet system, starting with the basis of UO’s. We brainstormed a little bit — at the time, he was one door down from me, maybe two. We talked about the critters getting bigger over time. He added his own magic: the pets learning their name as you repeated it to them. Then he ran with the ball, and created the entire system.

He did much more, but for me that was a shining moment. This was a guy older than me, a guy with more life experience, frankly. But to me Jeff was the guy that I found out there and helped and advised and hired and watched blossom. He was on his own trajectory — no question — but I am not someone who has really been a mentoring type, honestly, for whatever reason. He was a guy I could point to who had challenged me, learned from me when I had something to offer, and forged his own path. He went on to do great work on Jump to Lightspeed and then with Spacetime.

We disagreed about the NGE. But I also knew that when he got blamed for the whole thing, that it was a silly oversimplification, and I said so. It wasn’t fair for him to be the public face of the NGE, but it happened anyway. He spent a huge amount of time talking to the players, talking to people for years afterwards, explaining, apologizing, justifying what he didn’t need to and shouldn’t have had to.

I remember one time at lunch, several of us were talking about getting together, hanging out. He was a moderately private person. He didn’t really want to, even if we all wanted to know him better.

I got word on Monday that Jeff had died unexpectedly over the weekend. I’m not the sort to use euphemisms like “passed.” Today the word is out that he took his own life. And I am still numb, still in shock about it. There are blog posts galore, memories from those who worked with him, interacted with him on forums and websites, and yes, the occasional utter numbskull on comment threads saying completely inappropriate things. I barely knew his family, and don’t really have any words to express my condolences to them.

And me, I just dreaded writing this blog post, because it will be the last time I get to write to him at all. I see messages from him reprinted here and there, and sometimes he even mentions me by name. But the last time we spoke was over a year ago, and the last time we emailed was well over a month ago. In the end, I think I learned more from him than the other way around.

It was a great eleven years, Jeff, even if we never did get to hang out. But the games were good, whatever people say, and people loved what you made, and that counts for a lot in my book. Maybe everything. ... e-freeman/

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Re: Jeff Freeman commited suicide

Post by Dea » Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:59 pm

That was incredibly sad, the article from Raph Kosters site. It made you feel that you kind of knew him. :(

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